We are agitated. We need to heal. We need medicine for our messy minds.
The medicine can be found in mindfulness. The prescription takes the form of remembering, recalling, and recognizing a capacity that is already within you. It's not easy to do. It’s counter instinctual. It’s the work of a lifetime, and maybe a lifetime more. But it does offer something called possibility. In particular, the possibility that comes from the felt experience of self-compassion.
Let's see if we can experience this now.
Just take a moment to stop what you’re doing. You already know how to stop. Or maybe you don't. Maybe that's where the struggle starts. But let's give ourselves permission to try and stop and bring awareness to your posture. Simply and gently adjust your posture so you can feel a sense of the upright nobility and dignity that is already here for you in your body. See if you can just feel it. See if you can feel a lengthening of the spine as you sit upright.
Now bring awareness to the next breath you breathe, and to the next few breaths, you breathe. See if can give your complete undivided attention to noticing the breath breathing in and breathing out for you. To the feeling of the breath coming in your body and leaving your body. See if you can experience the breath breathing for you.
Now let’s play a game. It’s a game you already know. It’s a game whose rules are already within you. It’s the game of following the sensations of the breath as it makes its way down to your feet. It’s a game of imagination but it’s also real.
Imagine you can follow the stream of the breath as it glides its way down to your feet. It’s amazing that you have this capacity within you: the capacity to feel the breath as it makes its way down to your feet. Maybe you can sense temperature, coolness, or warmth. Maybe you can feel tingles, fizzing, or pins and needles type sensations.
Just rest your attention with the sensations you are feeling in the feet.
See if you can bring some curiosity to this experience., like a scientist investigating what it is to feel sensations in the feet. See if you can convert this curiosity into friendly awareness. Maybe allow yourself to smile at the experience. Feel the joy, the gratitude, the appreciation of what it is to be able to feel sensations in your feet: oh, I see, so this is what it’s like to feel sensations in the feet.
Now broaden your focus so you can bring friendly awareness to other sensations. To sensations in the body as a whole. Maybe there are tingles, maybe heat, maybe pulse, vibration. Perhaps there’s some sudden surge of sensation. Perhaps there’s discomfort, an itch or an ache you can feel.
It’s all a bit random, isn’t it? It’s all a bit unexpected. It’s all a bit beyond your control.
Welcome to your design. The invitation is to come home to what’s already here for you. To be with the energy of what’s already here. To be with the energy of this design. In doing so, you’re giving yourself permission to not be attached to any outcome. You are just observing, just being curious, just bringing friendly awareness to whatever the experience is. Just accepting the fullness of you in this present moment. The fullness of you as it is arising in the body. This body. Your body. Just experiencing the fullness of possibility that comes from cultivating this awareness.
See if you can just soften up. Soften up and soften into sensations in the body. Be kind to yourself about what you are experiencing. Maybe smile. Smile and be kind to yourself. Maybe in the same way as you would smile and show kindness and soothing patience to a little puppy dog or kitten. You already know that you already have the capacity for this kindness and soothing patience. You've already experienced it, somewhere at some time. So maybe now is the time to reclaim that capacity. Maybe now is the time for reclaiming being in a place of knowing within you. Knowing that you are already mindful. Knowing that you already have this capacity for friendly awareness within you. Knowing that you can bring awareness to this breath, this body, right now.
Knowing that you already have the medicine for your messy mind.
Knowing that you are already mindful.
This blog offers reflections on mindfulness practice in all its messiness. Essentially, it's about the struggle of practice. It offers personal reflections and practice as well as the wisdom of practitioners who can help you find your own mindful life.